Strawberries – their bouquet and flavour are just gorgeous! When I was Head Chef at Ruby’s Café in Adelaide we received regular deliveries of beautifully fresh ripe red strawberries and raspberries grown at Springton and Norton Summit in the Adelaide Hills. Simplicity is the key when preparing a dish of fresh berries and our desserts allowed the magical taste of the fresh fruit to reign supreme. My beautiful mother affectionately recalls as a child foraging through the hillside in her homeland for wild strawberries and other summer treats. She conveyed these stories to me with great delight and her cheeks would blush rose coloured with happiness. I fondly remember my father adoring fresh seasonal fruit after every meal. My grandmother would serve strawberries simply dressed with lemon juice and caster sugar. We would devour this delicious treat with her special Viennese vanilla bean whipped cream. Wild strawberries are not readily cultivated due to their small fruit and low yields. Pity though, they are the most divine in fragrance and flavour. Like tomatoes, strawberries are best stored at room temperature as the cold will adversely affect their aroma, flavour and skins. Enjoy the season’s finest strawberries served simply dressed with Balsamic vinegar and sugar as they do in Emilia-Romagna. Although Italian culinary purists would only serve strawberries dressed with lemon or orange juice and sugar, not cream, we will risk serving them with a dollop of mascarpone or yoghurt and a garnish of toasted flaked almonds. A sweet wine with light acidity such as a white or rosé Moscato d’Asti DOCG or Botrytis Semillon will accompany this sweet treat beautifully. Enjoy the best of the season, simply. Squisito! Exquisite and delicious! Sylvia xx
INGREDIENTS Serves about 4-6
500g-800g fresh strawberries, wiped clean, hulled, halved, place in a glass bowl
60-90ml aged 1-3 years medium bodied Aceto Balsamico (vinegar)
Approx. 2-3 Tablespoons caster sugar
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons orange juice
Mascarpone or yoghurt
Toasted flaked almonds to serve
- Place the vinegar, sugar, lemon and orange juice into a small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer, gently stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, pour over the strawberries and gently coat all the strawberries with the vinegar and sugar dressing.
- Cover and leave at room temperature to macerate for 1-2 hours.
- Serve in little dessert dishes and top with a dollop of mascarpone or yoghurt. Garnish with toasted flaked almonds or a sprig of purple or green basil or mint.
Squisito! Exquisite and delicious!